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Non French Cusine in France using French products


fortedei
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Host’s note: This topic has been split off from this topic on inexpensive restaurants that began to wander off into a discussion of whether or not it is possible to find authentic non-French cuisine in France. This topic has already been discussed elsewhere on eG—and is probably a universal topic that applies to many countries—however, we thought it might have a different angle in France.

I've been talking about this one for a long time but now I have pictures: Luna Rossa, rue de la République in Romainville, is a very good and simple trattoria, with a super nice boss running the place. The highlight is the flambé pasta inside the parmesan wheel, but the frito misto is also worth a try, as is basically everything. I just love that place, even if no one, aparently, ever wants to go to Romainville. Yesterday night we paid 103 eur for three, and we had more than we wished for.

Here are the pics: http://picasaweb.google.fr/jultort/LunaRossa4thJuly

45, Rue République

93230 Romainville

01 48 40 49 80

Was this supposed to be an Italian trattoria in France or a French "trattoria" serving Italian food?

I ask because after eating well over a thousand restaurant meals in Italy, I've never seen (although perhaps it exists someplace) a trattoria serve pasta as a "side" or "vegetable" with a whole fish on the plate.

Edited by Felice (log)
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Was this supposed to be an Italian trattoria in France or a French "trattoria" serving Italian food?

I ask because after eating well over a thousand restaurant meals in Italy, I've never seen (although perhaps it exists someplace) a trattoria serve pasta as a "side" or "vegetable" with a whole fish on the plate.

It was a special request, and the place is genuinely Italian -- even in Italy, some trattoria tries to please their clients. But I must tell you that 1- I don't believe authenticity matters and 2- The point of a Trattoria in Romainville is not to eat better than in Italy. Certainly Luna Rossa i snot as wonderful as some meals I had in Napoli. But they were in Napoli, and as far as Romainville is from Paris 8th, Naples is further.

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Was this supposed to be an Italian trattoria in France or a French "trattoria" serving Italian food?

I ask because after eating well over a thousand restaurant meals in Italy, I've never seen (although perhaps it exists someplace) a trattoria serve pasta as a "side" or "vegetable" with a whole fish on the plate.

It was a special request, and the place is genuinely Italian -- even in Italy, some trattoria tries to please their clients. But I must tell you that 1- I don't believe authenticity matters and 2- The point of a Trattoria in Romainville is not to eat better than in Italy. Certainly Luna Rossa i snot as wonderful as some meals I had in Napoli. But they were in Napoli, and as far as Romainville is from Paris 8th, Naples is further.

No trattoria in Italy, that cared what it served re food, would ever serve pasta as a side course. Tourist places perhaps; a self-respecting trattoria, never.

What would you think about a "French" restaurant in the countryside outside of Florence, owned by French, that served (just to pick an example) a slice of foie gras terrine as a "side" on a plate having a whole fish?

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No trattoria in Italy, that cared what it served re food, would ever serve pasta as a side course. Tourist places perhaps; a self-respecting  trattoria, never.

What would you think about a "French" restaurant in the countryside outside of Florence, owned by French, that served (just to pick an example) a slice of foie gras terrine as a "side" on a plate having a whole fish?

Well I'll say it would entirely depend on 1) the foie gras and 2) the fish.

As a matter of fact, last Saturday at the gala dinner of the Grands Crus classés de 1855 served at the Chambre de commerce in Bordeaux, our first course was a Pressé de foie gras de canard and anguille fumée (smoked eel) prepared by Thierry Marx. It was heavenly.

I am with Julot on this matter; if he says the trattoria is good, I am pretty sure it is, notwithstanding the "authenticity" factor which in this case is pretty relative. The French like so serve pasta as a side dish. I believe this trattoria in the suburbs of Paris is quite entitled to serve pasta as a side dish on request and still be self-respecting.

Edited by Ptipois (log)
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No trattoria in Italy, that cared what it served re food, would ever serve pasta as a side course. Tourist places perhaps; a self-respecting  trattoria, never.

What would you think about a "French" restaurant in the countryside outside of Florence, owned by French, that served (just to pick an example) a slice of foie gras terrine as a "side" on a plate having a whole fish?

Well I'll say it would entirely depend on 1) the foie gras and 2) the fish.

As a matter of fact, last Saturday at the gala dinner of the Grands Crus classés de 1855 served at the Chambre de commerce in Bordeaux, our first course was a Pressé de foie gras de canard and anguille fumée (smoked eel) prepared by Thierry Marx. It was heavenly.

I am with Julot on this matter; if he says the trattoria is good, I am pretty sure it is, notwithstanding the "authenticity" factor which in this case is pretty relative. The French like so serve pasta as a side dish. I believe this trattoria in the suburbs of Paris is quite entitled to serve pasta as a side dish on request and still be self-respecting.

I didn't use the word authenticity. No one knows what authentic means.

Several months ago, on the Italian board, there was an interesting discussion about Italian cooking techniques and also about French chefs and the use by them of two Italian food staples, pasta and risotto.

This is in part what I said:

"Innovation, in food and other areas, is a great thing in the hands of people who know what they are doing. Unfortunately, most of the top restaurants in Italy (lets say, as rated by the Gambero Rosso, if for no other reason than that guide is a good starting point for the “top” restaurants) have no clue as to what they are doing. Lets be honest; cooking technique, as practiced in Italian restaurants, leaves a lot to be desired (and I’m a fervent Italophile), certainly as compared to that in France. Notice, I’m only speaking of technique, not taste nor combination of ingredients.

We can start with pastry and work our way from there (on the other hand it is truly pathetic when a French chef tries to make pasta or risotto… truly pathetic). France has it all over Italy in terms of technique. As far as I’m aware, only two chefs in Italy, again lets say in the top 20 of Gambero Rosso, had a great deal, if not most, of their training in France. These two, by the way, are head and shoulders above their peers as far as technique goes, and both have Italian souls, a great combination, although one of these two has certainly gone over to the other side with regard to fusion (perhaps in order to get a higher rating in the guides).

Notice my comments on the technical ability of Italian chefs compared to French. French chefs have it all over the Italians. However, when it comes to pasta and risotto, "The French" don't get it. It is not in their soul.

Ptipois, pasta as a side dish? What would you think of Americans who when ordering cuisses de grenouilles said " and could you bring me a bottle of ketchup?"

Pasta is a separate course in Italy. The pasta, in its various shapes, serves as a complement to what it is sauced with. Pasta, is not treated as a side dish or a "vegetable" in Italy although it may be so in France. BTW, flaming pasta in a hollowed out wheel of Parmigiano, is reminiscent of what used to go on in Little Italy in New York, about thirty years ago.

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Ptipois, pasta as a side dish? What would you think of Americans who when ordering cuisses de grenouilles said " and could you bring me a bottle of ketchup?"

Pasta is a separate course in Italy. The pasta, in its various shapes, serves as a complement to what it is sauced with. Pasta, is not treated as a side dish or a "vegetable" in Italy although it may be so in France. BTW, flaming pasta in a hollowed out wheel of Parmigiano, is reminiscent of what used to go on in Little Italy in New York, about thirty years ago.

I am a bit puzzled by your post. If 'authenticity' is not what you are concerned about, what is it exactly then?

So they served pasta as a side dish because Julot requested it. It may be wrong, but in this case it should be explained why. It is perhaps possible that they should have, firstly, refused, then flogged him and kicked him out of the trattoria, but I fail to understand what principle exactly would have justified that.

(As for ketchup with frog's legs, this is actually an idea, and could be interesting as long as frog's legs were deep-fried real crispy. I think garlic and parsley should be left out in this case.)

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